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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Sci Fi Channel‘s finale of Doctor Who on August 1 delivered a 1.0 HH rating and 1.26 million total viewers, according to Live + Same Day Nielsen data. In key demos, Dr. Who delivered 695,000 A25-54 and 588,000 A18-49.  Overall Season #4 was up over the previous season by 25% in household ratings, and 6% in both key demos. (Cynopsis 8/5)

Coming up next for AMC - a new political thriller, reports THR.  The project from Jason Horwitch is about a secret society who is using the political system as its own puppets, and a think tank analyst who realizes his employers are not what he thought they were. Production is scheduled to begin in October. (Cynopsis 8/5)

In a move that could potentially transform the way advanced video services are rolled out to viewers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York ruled Monday that DVRs that operate via a central storage server rather than a set-top storage device do not violate copyright law. Analyst Craig E. Moffett said the decision “means a huge increase in the number of viewing hours per day potentially subject to ad-skipping.” The use of networked technology paves the way for the delivery of interactive and dynamic advertising via recorded programs. The New York Times (8/5) , The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (8/5)

Cablers with 2,500 subscribers or fewer that are not part of larger systems serving 10% or more of national pay-TV subscribers would be able to receive a three-year exemption from the HDTV must-carry rule, according to a proposal backed by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. The exemption, scheduled for an Aug. 22 vote by the commission, in theory would be available to just about every cable company, except Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to Multichannel News. Multichannel News (8/4) , Broadcasting & Cable (8/4)

Dish Network reported that its subscriber base dipped 25,000 in the second quarter, marking the first time the satellite provider had lost customers in its 12-year history. The company is facing increased competition from cable and telecom providers. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (8/5) , The New York Times/Reuters (8/4)

Insight Communications added 3,800 basic-cable customers during the second quarter, compared with 2,500 a year earlier, while digital additions totaled 9,200, a 3% uptick. The MSO added RGUs in the four key categories as it attracted more high-speed data and voice subscribers than it did in the same period in 2007. OneTRAK (8/4)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

SCI FI Channel’s mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica (10p) last Friday delivered 1.2 million A18-49, 1.2 million A25-54 and 1.8 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 6/17)

Click the image below to watch the full finale online.

The hotter-than-hot “Army Wives” continues to set records for Lifetime. A week after the Season 2 premiere pulled in 4.5 million viewers, a high-water mark for the female-focused channel, the net last Sunday night attracted 1.98 million women in the 25-to-54 demographic. (Broadcasting & Cable 6/16)

To check out full episodes on their vertical site, click below.

Documentaries from HBO and Cinemax will now be available online for purchase through Amazon-owned CreateSpace’s DVD on Demand offering. The first movie in the new deal, “When I Knew,” which looks at when people first knew they were gay, will be available June 26, a day after its Cinemax premiere. (World Screen News 6/16)

Investors say General Electric could help its languishing shares — now near 4 1/2-year lows — by selling off businesses in its portfolio. But the company is resisting calls that it should sell its 80% stake in NBC Universal. GE says it is committed to a diversified business model. (Iwantmedia 6/17, http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSN1647648820080616 6/16)

News Corp. shares are getting a boost from their 52-week lows following a positive report by Lehman Brothers analyst Anthony DiClemente. The media giant is a good buy at the current price, DiClemente says, noting that MySpace continues to show strong revenue growth. (Iwantmedia 6/17, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080613/news_corp_mover.html 6/13)

Multiplatform international sports broadcaster WCSN formed a joint venture with NBC Sports hoping to build a larger audience around sports largely overlooked by existing sports brands including Gymnastics, Track and Field, Swimming and Biking. The Universal Sports brand will replace WCSN’s linear digital channel later this summer – currently in about 2 million digital multicasts homes – and launch as the ad-supported web portal Universal Sports.com in July. (Cynopsis 6/17, Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter 6/17, The Washington Post/paidContent.org 6/16)

As part of its deal to separate from Time Warner, Time Warner Cable is looking to sell $5 billion in bonds to pay a cash dividend to shareholders of the parent company, according to one report. The spinoff is expected to give the country’s second-largest cable provider far more flexibility and freedom in charting its own future. (BusinessWeek/Standard & Poor’s Equity Research 6/17, Bloomberg 6/16, Reuters 6/16)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Sci Fi is developing a multiplayer online game that will be tied to a TV series in which players and viewers will be able to partially influence story lines and character development. “This is the Holy Grail for us, without a doubt,” said Sci Fi president Dave Howe, referring to the as-yet-untitled project set to launch in 2010. “This is groundbreaking.” (Financial Times 6/3, Los Angeles Times 6/2)

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